blog + shop

all posts related to blog and art shop announcements and news

The Artyologist Turns Five & I’ve Opened a Shop!

5 candles

Today is my blog’s 5th birthday! I can’t believe that it’s already been five years since the first time I pressed “publish”. (so scary!)

So to commemorate this occasion, I wanted to share some exciting news:

I have expanded my online shop and opened my own online storefront! This was a very long time coming (too long) and I am so excited to finally hit “publish” on that now too. You can find my new and improved shop page here or at the link in my sidebar or in the top menu.

the artyologist art shop

There are now three places you can shop. First, with The Artyologist shop, I have started small as I wanted to try it out and see how it goes (since it is my first foray into online selling on my own platform.) I have just a few products listed right now, including greeting cards, prints and a couple of original paintings. I plan to list some more items in the near future. I’m so excited to actually have started this shop, especially since that was one of my goals when I started this blog five years ago…it took a while, but we’re here now.

Since I have no idea what I’m doing, it might take me a while to get the hang of it, so please let me know if you run into any problems with it.

And to celebrate the Grand Opening, you can use the code ANNIVERSARY10 to receive 10% off. (I thought that 5% off was too small of a celebration!) The coupon will be valid for two weeks, until February 10, 2021.

The second new way to shop is through my Poshmark closet. While Poshmark is mostly a clothing app, since they have a flat rate shipping, this is an excellent way to get some of the bigger framed pieces and canvases shipped for only $12.99, instead of whatever Canada Post would charge – a lot I’m sure! Unfortunately this is only available within Canada. I’ve also got some other things listed there from my closet clear out, as well some handmade hair accessories and shoe clips, with plans to add more of those things in the future.

poshmark artyologist art shop

And finally, in my Society 6 shop you can find products such as greeting cards and phone accessories, as well as prints and canvases. Remember when I said I planned to add some of my Valentine’s card designs to my shop… three years ago? Well, I have added five of those card designs to the shop now, just in time for Valentine’s Day (just over 2 weeks away)! You can get them in cards, mini prints and some of them in stickers too, just for fun. I would like to create more stationery designs in the future, since I love sending people notes in the mail.

five new valentine card designs in the society 6 shop

Now, for a few blogging announcements…

Since quitting social media, I’ve realized that some of my favourite bloggers have stopped blogging in the past few years, and it’s sad not being able to see their new projects and outfits. Since I don’t want that to happen here, I thought that I had better start to put out some posts myself!

If you are a blogger, why don’t you leave your blog name in a comment? Or if you don’t blog, what is one of your favourites to follow? I’m sure we’d all love to find some more people to follow.

Speaking of followers, in the past I have used Bloglovin’ as a feed reader, but it seems like it’s fallen out of popularity lately. It has gotten so glitchy and overrun with bots and my last few posts haven’t shown up there for weeks, which is quite disappointing. Sometimes other peoples’ posts don’t show up for me either, so I’ve switched to Feedly, so I won’t miss anyone’s new posts. If you’re following me on Bloglovin’, and having been missing notifications for new posts, you can sign up for email notifications in the form in my sidebar.

Finally, one site I pretty much avoided, ever since it was created, is Pinterest. I don’t really know why, because it’s actually a great place to save inspiration photos, especially for sewing project ideas! I’m pretty new to the whole pinning thing, but I’ve created a few boards over there and hopefully I’ll get better over time, I’ve added a link to my page in the sidebar and my username there is theartyologist.

So, those are a few new things coming up… Thank-you to all of you reading this, it really means so much to me that you take time out of your day to see what I have to share. Without you Dear Readers, I really would be typing into the void, so thank-you again for the past five years, and here’s to the next five!

❤︎ Nicole

Thoughts on Quitting Social Media…But Not Blogging

phone with social media pictures on it

This has been a long time coming…I deleted my social media accounts.

I only ever had Instagram, so it’s not as though I had that much to delete, but over the past couple of years I’ve really started wondering whether I still wanted to be on social media…I kept taking longer and longer “breaks” and after a while I realized just how much of a burden it had become. I wasn’t excited to post like I was a few years ago, and I wasn’t even going on the app to see what others were up to. It took me a long time to finally decide that I wasn’t going to go back, and that it was time for me to delete the accounts. It seems silly to say this, but since I deleted them, a burden really has been lifted!

I know I’m not alone in this (several other bloggers have also recently talked about their relationship with social media) so I thought I would share my reasons, in case they could be of use to you.

  • There is such a thing as too much inspiration. I was getting so inundated with “inspiration” that I wasn’t actually doing much myself. Instead of being inspired by the creativity of others, I just looked at what they had to share and didn’t go and create anything myself. I had burnt out. As you all know, I wasn’t blogging here anymore. I had a hard time coming up with my own creative ideas to share… which is why I originally created this blog!
  • I started comparing my posts to others. This led into a trap of feeling like what I was posting wasn’t good enough to share. Especially for my art shop account, there was so much pressure to be constantly trying to “sell” my artwork. After much thought, I’ve come to realize that social media is like a stage. It’s not your “own space” because it’s on someone else’s platform, and every person on that platform/stage is doing their act all at the same time, competing against the algorithm to try and get some attention and be at the top of the popularity contest. Whereas a blog, to me at least, feels like an invitation into your own space. There may be some drawbacks to that, as not as many people may be able to find you as easily, but people come in to your blog to stay for a while instead of just scrolling down the app. I want to build this little blog back up again, without the constant pressure to outperform everyone else.
  • I was tired of having a “brand”, yet also feeling the pressure to be “authentic”. I realized that the more privacy you erode through sharing snippets of your life, you can end up oversharing. While people might feel that they know you, because of what you have shared and invited them into, in reality they don’t know the real you. We all curate what we show online (creating our own “brand”), but social media is especially good at blurring that line in order to create “authenticity” and I found that on Instagram it’s really easy to overshare; more-so than on my blog. The truth is that you’ll never really get to know someone fully via social media and while I do want to be open, I don’t have the personality for the “social” aspect of social media. I am an introvert and I don’t even socialize that much in real life! After a while I found that for me, it was actually quite draining to be so engaged all of the time- which is what is required of those who succeed on those platforms.
  • Sadly there was a lot negativity and general nastiness this year… and I wasn’t even on Twitter! For some reason, things started to get so negative, perhaps as a result of tensions in peoples’ real lives coming through to their online spaces? It’s definitely been a hard and stressful past year, but I saw so much negativity which really took away the fun, and I found myself avoiding using Instagram because of it.
  • I didn’t want to be a content creator anymore. I was creating so much content, and all for the benefit of Instagram! They were the ones getting paid for all of my work! All of the art I shared on my studio account for the past few years, only resulted in a couple of sales. And I never received a penny from Instagram as a result of directing people to their app, keeping them there, and racking up their ad revenue. I had never thought about it this way before until I watched this video in August (I don’t know anything about this lady; I just came across her video). She talks about how she became a better artist once she quit social media, because the pressure was off and she could pour her time into her work, rather than trying to curate an aesthetic feed or trying to sell her work to people who could watch her content for free, without ever having to actually buy any of it. She really hit the nail on the head with that one! Granted, some people have been able to create very successful businesses with the help of social media, and I have even discovered some talented artists through the app, but I don’t have the personality for it. While it may work for some, I realized that I was never going to be that person.
  • It was so addicting: the more you are on social media, the more you want to spend time there. After reading several articles about the tech industry, you begin to realize that it’s not all “in your head” and these apps are actively working against you and your brain! Once I broke that addiction, I didn’t crave to be back on it. I had essentially been gone from Instagram since July, but it took me a few months after that to officially write a “goodbye” post. At the time I thought that I might one day return, but the longer I was gone the less I wanted to. Even though I still was signed into my Instagram account on my computer, I never checked in to see other people’s posts. So instead I followed all of those people on their blogs or Youtube channels, if they had them, bookmarked their shops to keep in mind for potential future purchases, said goodbye, and then deleted my account.
  • Finally, Instagram (owned by Facebook) released their new data policies on December 20 and they are quite invasive. I was just really tired of having to sign away all of my privacy in order to use their app, especially since I wasn’t even using it any more! It’s not what I had signed up for originally, so their new policy was what gave me the kick in the pants to actually do what I had been thinking of for months.

Ultimately the real reason I quit was because it wasn’t fun anymore. While I enjoyed it when I signed up back in 2016 (originally so I could participate in Fashion Revolution), it’s changed a lot since then, and so have I. And ultimately, if something isn’t fun and you have no responsibilities to it…then why are you doing it? So, I made that final push and it seems to have been the right decision.

That’s not to say that there aren’t any drawbacks of quitting social media. I’ve discovered that a lot of my favourite bloggers are no longer blogging, and are focusing exclusively on Instagram, so I won’t be able to see any of their future posts. I’ve also put a lot of thought into how this might affect plans for an online shop. Social media can be a good tool for networking. While it is the right decision to make for now, because my art account was actually stopping me from creating, and wasn’t adding any benefits, this might be something I need to revisit in the future.

Despite these drawbacks, I have already seen several benefits. Because I am not filling my time with scrolling, I have found the time to craft and sew again! I’m also happy to return to this blog and am excited to write posts for the first time in a long time! I’ve spent the past few weeks thinking up ideas for some new posts, and even what I would like the future of the blog to look like.

One thing I did keep from my Instagram account, was my bio. I had spent quite a bit of time brainstorming a focus for my IG account, and have decided that I would like to incorporate it here too. Not much is really going to change, but I’ve settled on:

“sustainable fashion and lifestyle with a vintage sensibility”. 

I think that encompasses rather well the things I am interested in sharing and it’s kind of nice having a “mission statement” to keep me going in the right direction. Some of the topics I’ve been thinking about lately are creating a clear style vision, using minimalism as a tool for your wardrobe, zero waste lifestyle, sustainable fashion, crafts and sewing projects, more of my artwork and photography, vintage fashion, more “life lately” sorts of posts and, as always, outfits (at least when I have something to dress up for!)

So, if you have made it this far, thank-you for reading my ramblings! I hope that these topics sound interesting to you, and that you’ll stick around. Here’s to 2021 being a better blogging year than the last!

And a very Happy New Year everyone! I hope that your year is off to a great start!

A New Month, A New Space and New Beginnings

I’ve spent the past month leaving a job that was dear to me, which means that my January, a month that usually feels like a fresh new start and a new beginning, has instead been wrapped up in finishing something.

My “new year” this year, feels like it’s actually starting now…in February.

After a bit of rest and recharging, I’ve decided it’s time to focus on my art again, and see where it leads. I’ve got a new dedicated space (I just moved my desk in front of the window, where there is good natural light), I’ve now got time, and I’ve got some ideas floating around in my head. It’s now just a matter of picking up my pencil and my brush and making those discordant ideas come together into something… now that it’s a new month, it’s time to start.

The Artyologist Turns Two

It is my blog’s second anniversary, woohoo! Although does that mean I am entering the “terrible twos” now? I hope not! (Actually, the anniversary is tomorrow, Jan. 27, but as I wanted to post this on Friday instead. . .  here I am a day early!)

I can’t believe that it’s been two years since I started this blog, or for that matter that it’s been an entire year since the first anniversary. I feel like all I ever say lately, is “I can’t believe how fast the time is going by”, but really what else is there to say? It does go by quickly 🙂 When I started this blog, two years ago, I really had no idea what I was doing. Actually I still don’t. Pressing that “publish” button was the scariest thing! I had no idea if anyone would ever read my blog, and I wondered if I had made a big mistake in thinking that I should be a blogger. But, it turned out that starting this blog was one of the best things I’ve ever done- not only has it proven to be fun, and a great creative outlet, but I’ve also met so many lovely people through it. (Either because they are readers, or because I discovered their blogs, since I was no longer intimidated by “putting myself out there” so to speak). Two years in, I have no intention of stopping any time soon!

Last year, I marked the 1 year anniversary by doing a blog makeover. As I still quite like the blog format, I am not planning any sort of changes on that front.* I thought that, since I didn’t do any sort of 2017 year end recap or the like, I would today re-share some of my favourite posts from the past year, as well as posts which have proven to be the most popular with readers. I kind of like to look back at old blog posts from time to time. 

I feel like sometimes in this digital age, we always have to have “more”. New posts, all the time. Fast and disposable like the rest of our culture is. We look at something for a minute, and then immediately move onto the next. We quickly scroll through our readers and feeds, trying to get through the list, without taking the time to enjoy. Social media in it’s very essence is always about the “new”. But, even though it is web based, it is ironic that amidst all that, there are still our blogs. A digital scrapbook of sorts, which capture the memories of a year gone by. I don’t know if I would notice the passage of time so much, if I didn’t have this blog. The very act of taking photos, and creating posts is a way to capture a memory, and then it gives you something to look back on (which makes you realize it was so long ago! And also how many phases my hair has gone through). I’m just rambling now, but all that to say, it’s nice to, instead of always looking forward, take a moment to look back as well.

Thanks so much to all my lovely readers who follow this blog. You are the ones who make this so worthwhile and fun. I mean, I could still blog if I had no readers, but that would be super boring. So, thank-you!

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The 5 Most Popular Posts

Well, the number one most popular post I ever wrote was my history of harem pants- it was still the top post for 2017, and I wrote it in the summer of 2016! But, since it is from two years ago, I will share the top posts of 2017 instead.

bringing back coupon busters, one pair of shoeclips at a time, the artyologist

Bringing back “Coupon Busters” One Pair of Shoeclips at a Time

a sentimental history of lockets, the artyologist

A Sentimental History of Lockets

shopping ethically for vintage repro

Shopping Ethically for Vintage Repro

vintage-blogger-meetup-2016_edmonton the artyologist, Blogger Meetup with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

My First Blogger Meet Up with Jessica of Chronically Vintage

Operation Save the Petticoat (Or a Simple Petticoat Alteration), the artyologist

Operation: Save the Petticoat! (Or, a Simple Petticoat Alteration)

Apparently my tutorials are popular. I shall endeavour to do more things this year, so I can turn them into posts 😉

My Personal Favourite Outfit Posts

Lilacs and Love letters, the artyologist, portrait feature

Lilacs and Love Letters. This is the post that almost didn’t happen! And it is one of my favourites.

Modern Girl Goes Vintage, the artyologist, navy blue and tan skirt

Modern Girl Goes Vintage.

Wearing Vintage (Or Other Alternative Styles) vs. Wearing a Costume, the artyologist outfit

Wearing Vintage (Or Alternative Style) vs. Wearing a Costume. Discussing the differences between dressing up in a different style and dressing up in a costume.

A Feather in My Cap. The first “public” photoshoot!

Fashion Revolution Love Story: An Ode to a Humble T-Shirt. This was a fun post to write.

Five Other Memories

Tea and Tulips on a February Day, the artyologist, teacup and vase

Tea and Tulips on a February Day. I just really liked this photoshoot and wanted to re-share it.

The Artyologist Art Shop. I opened my art shop in July!

Tanith of Tanith Rowan Designs and I hosted our first My Vintage Cover challenge in August, and it was so much fun!

I was Interviewed for Alive Magazine, talking about ethical fashion!

Falltime at the Farm, the artyologist, hanging-apples-with-fence

Photo Journal: Fall Time at the Farm. Some experimenting with my camera and lens at the farm. I was also happy with these pictures and just wanted to reshare.

*I said above that I had no plans to change my blog format, but, that being said, are there any things you wish were different about the format? Any ways I could change it to make it easier to read etc? Thanks!